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Update on the Issue of Gilgit-Baltistan in the Context of the “Kashmir Problem”

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30.11.2020

The former principality of Kashmir was among several hundreds of territories with varying degrees of autonomy on the Indian subcontinent, and in its environs, that became part of British India in the 19th century, the de facto heir to which is modern-day, completely independent Republic of India.

But in terms of territory, the latter “inherited” far from everything, and for some of its citizens today that fact serves as the reason for nostalgia for its “glorious past” – something that is admittedly popular everywhere. Among the “losses” we will mention here, the main one is represented by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which enjoys independence to no less a degree. Today, Pakistan owns about 40% of the territory controlled by the former principality, and another 10% is controlled by China. This means that about half of Kashmir is part of modern-day India.

“Carving it up” this way ended up being the result of numerous wars, and we will touch upon two: The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948, which broke out immediately after an independent India and Pakistan formed, as well as the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The words “war” and “justice” are not compatible with each other, and one of the participants in the former always considers its results to be “unfair”.

However, in this case, everyone is unhappy with the “post-war” situation in Kashmir, but chiefly India and Pakistan, each of which has its own reasoning for this. For India, they are mostly “historical” in nature, owing to which the Pakistani part of what was formerly Kashmir is designated by the established catchword Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). In Pakistan, they point to the predominantly Muslim population in the present-day Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, “whose rights are being suppressed by the Hindus”. Along with that, the fact that one article in the constitution last year was rescinded by India is used as one piece of evidence; this had conferred a special status upon the state.

The author in no way supports anyone’s position in this dispute, and is primarily concerned about the gravity of the “problem” sparked by the Indo-Pakistani confrontation in Kashmir. Since, as was noted above, both parties in this dispute have repeatedly resorted to the services of using “the latest argument”.

Generally speaking, armed actions with various scales in the area of the........

© New Eastern Outlook


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